The video assignment I was supposed to get to FedEx back on Saturday has finally gone out late this afternoon (Monday). What an ordeal. If it's accepted, I will get 200 dollars. But because of all sorts of technological cock-ups (compounded with my own feckless and lazy nature), what should have taken about 15 hours, took a turn into a very long dark tunnel. And it might not even be over. Of the 22 video clips I sent in, I'm afraid five or six were improperly compressed. Because they are meant to be streamed over the internet, it might not be an issue. But until I get that check, it's still hovering over me, ill and uncertain.
I spent several long hours last night reconfiguring video files. I'd sit down at my computer, follow through with a few keystrokes, and then wait while my Mac rearranged countless ones and zeroes into specific configurations. Each session took six to nine minutes. I'd set things in motion and retreat to the sofa and read some more. By three AM I was done … and I had managed to read three short stories from Herman Melville's Piazza Tales, as well as about half of Damon Runyon's In Our Town.
But when I awoke this morning to burn the DVDs to send all the stuff off, I discovered that my mighty Mackintosh's DVD drive (Mr. Jobs would prefer we call them Super-Drives) has begun to fight me.
As much as I might be getting pissy to the point of violence because of my computer's current ills, I should point out that I've had this machine for five years or more and it has given me almost no trouble. It still has all its original teeth, and has no trouble jumping the back fence when it's feeling frisky.
Anyway, I took a deep breath and headed over to Urban-15 to ask George if I could borrow his monster quad Mac G5. He graciously waved me to the basement space where his multimedia editing station was waiting. I hooked up my external drive and proceeded to cruise high-speed through the process of burning four DVDs.
Today started out cold and wet. I was on dog patrol in the early hours, and as I was walking Cutsie, my grumbles — my sotto voce profanity — concerned not just the failings of technology, but the failings of the weather experts who had promised a sunny day in the low seventies.
I should have just waited — it'd've saved my stomach lining the acid wash of despair. Because by early afternoon, it all cleared up sunny and warm and even the puddles of drizzle seemed to have instantly vanished as though some unseen omnipotent hand had depressed a gigantic chromium lever in that great porcelain room in the heavens.
Over near the AT&T Center (not a place one goes to pay the phone bill, but, as I understand, ground zero of this city's sports industrial complex), one can find the main FedEx station. It's only about ten minutes from my house. The place stays open until 8:30 at night. Early this morning I was afraid I'd have to take advantage of the late hours. But I was able to get the stuff dropped off by 4:30.
This gave me plenty of time to head home and print up multiple copies of a new short story to take with me to the free monthly writers' workshop at Gemini Ink. It's held on the last Monday of every month.
(It's a good time, and there are some damn fine writers reading their stuff. Come on out people. If you've read my stuff — like this — you'll clearly know that amateurs do indeed attend. And did I mention, it's free?)
The piece I read tonight is entitled Lockjaw and Rattlesnakes.
It's over on my fiction site.
Last Thursday I realized that final Monday was coming up. I hammered out this piece that evening. And because I'm the world's worst editor, it's still damn close to it's original raw state. However, tonight, as I was reading the piece aloud I realized, with high embarrassment, I had overlooked a few typos my spell check could not have caught.
Therefore, the version uploaded is cleaner — but no doubt still messy.
And that doesn't even address the question of structure and content. Personally, I'm not too fond of this piece. It's clunky and divisive. The opening coda seems crudely linked with the ending.
The piece originated as a bit longer. But because the free workshop limits the participants to four pages, I went in and ripped out a couple of passages that went nowhere. I think it was wise to strip out that stuff. It ain't going back in. But I think my desire to thematically link the beginning with the ending will necessitate drawing the piece out longer. This probably means adding another 25% of text. The question is, of course, do I care enough about this piece to try and fix it?
I guess it all depends. If only I can rationalize “fixing” this piece as a wise move while procrastinating work that will actually pay me money … well, consider it done!